In Fahrenheit 451, who are the two friends that visit Mildred?

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In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred's two friends who visit her are Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Phelps. Their visit, intended for watching television and drinking martinis, turns into an awkward encounter when Montag, Mildred's husband, insists on reading a poem to them. The superficial conversation and their lack of interest in thoughtful discussion reflect the shallow nature of their society. Montag's actions upset them, resulting in them reporting him to the authorities.

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In Part Two of Fahrenheit 451, Mildred invites her two friends, Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Phelps, over to her house. It is around nine in the evening when the ladies arrive and the purpose of their visit is to watch the parlour walls with Mildred while drinking martinis.

The conversation between these women is as empty and superficial as the programmes they love to watch: they say that "everyone looks swell" but lack interest in any topics with more depth. When Montag switches off the walls, the women are dismayed at Montag and look at him with "unconcealed irritation."

Ultimately, Mildred is both embarrassed and upset by Montag's actions during this visit. He insists on reading a poem to the women called "Dover Beach." He wants to make the women wake up and think about their way of life but, instead, they leave the house and report Montag's behaviour to the authorities. 

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 Mildred invites her neighbors, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles ,over to watch the walls.  They are totally enjoying themselves and having a great time when Montag pulls the plug on the TV and tries to engage them in some thoughtful conversation. 

We learn a lot about the society from this brief encounter with these two women.  We learn that war is expected but it will be short.  Mrs. Phelps says,

"Quick war.  Forty-eight hours, they said and everyone home." (pg 94)

He asks about their children.  Mrs. Bowls says,

"The world must reproduce you know, the race must go one.....I plunk the children in school nine days out of ten.  I put up with them when they come home three days a month, it's not that bad.  You heave them into the parlor and turn the switch.  It's like washing clothes..... They'd just as soon kick me as kiss me. Thank God I can kick back."

We learn about their attitude toward politics when they discuss two candidates. Montag eventually reads a poem to them. Mrs. Phelps starts crying, and both women run home stating that they will never come to the Montag home again.  These two women both turned him in to Captain Beatty as a person with books.

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